VIENNA, March 14 Japan has provided 230,000
units of stable iodine to evacuation centres as a precautioary
measure in the country's nuclear emergency, the U.N. atomic
watchdog said on Monday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), citing
information it had received from Japanese authorities, said
about 185,000 residents in areas near nuclear power plants
affected by Friday's quake had been evacuated by March 13.
Iodine can be used to help protect against thyroid cancer in
the case of radioactive exposure in a nuclear accident.
"Japan has distributed 230,000 units of stable iodine to
evacuation centres from the area around Fukushima Daiichi and
Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants, according to officials,"
the IAEA said in a statement on its Facebook page.
"The iodine has not yet been administered to residents; the
distribution is a precautionary measure in the event that this
is determined to be necessary," it said.
(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Mark Heinrich)